Spirit Airlines line (l) woman in plane with caption 'flying spirit is such a humbling experience' (c) Spirit plane (r)

Kevin Porter/Shutterstock rchat/Shutterstock @lia_white/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Rose

‘It was the only airline that would get me home after 6pm’: Spirit passenger shows why flying Airline is a ‘humbling’ experience

'The Carnival Cruise of the air.'


Jack Alban


Posted on May 9, 2024   Updated on May 9, 2024, 2:56 pm CDT

Frustrating. Ratchet. Infuriating. Cheap. These are some of the words folks have used in communicating what it feels like to fly on Spirit Airlines. And now, TikToker Lia White (@lia_white) has added a new word to the social media lexicon surrounding Spirit and other airlines that follow similar business models: “humbling.”

Throngs of commenters who responded to their video felt the same way.

“Flying spirit is such a humbling experience” she writes in a text overlay of her video as she fidgets with her sweater and looks into the camera. Djo’s ‘End of Beginning” blares over her clip.

She writes in a caption for the video: “It was the only airline that could get me home after 6pm.”

The “humility” she’s referring to could very well be the drawbacks of flying with airlines that are considered Ultra-Low Cost Carriers (ULCC Airlines). According to Alternative Airlines, there are a few businesses that fall under this category: Spirit Airlines, Canada Jetlines, Swoop, WOW Air, Ryanair, Frontier, Allegiant, Sun Country Airlines, and others fit the bill for these types of airlines. The outlet recommends “packing light” when it comes to folks who are hopping on any flights with these carriers, mainly because there are various other fees tacked onto the cost of the ticket depending on how you want to travel.

If you’re expecting any amenities during your flight such as beverages or food, then be prepared to fork over some cash for them. If you want to check some luggage, then you’re more than likely going to have to pay for your bags on both legs of your journey, and additional luggage can sometimes incur higher charges per bag.

Carry-on luggage for many ULCCs is also usually not combined with the cost of your ticket, and, as some Frontier customers have experienced, even bringing aboard a “personal item” such as a purse or backpack is met with strict scrutiny. Folks whose bags fit into the testing bins that gauge whether or not a personal item can be brought aboard without warranting a charge have claimed Frontier still decided to hit them with a $100 baggage fee.

Alternative Airlines also states that ULCCs usually have such cheap ticket fares because customers only pay for the services they want on their flights and these carriers usually only operate on short jaunts that don’t last more than a few hours. That base price you’re being shown doesn’t come with the option of selecting your seat: if you want more legroom (like most airlines) then you’re going to have to pay more. In fact, if you want the privilege of choosing your own seat or sitting next to a person you’re traveling with, you’re going to have to pay extra for that as well.

So if you’re hoping for in-flight entertainment, then you might be out of luck, and if your personal items are considered “carry-on” items and the airline decides to charge you for that, your ULCC ticket may ultimately end up costing the same as another carrier, or even more if you’re checking luggage and you get a little peckish while aboard.

@lia_white it was the only airline that could get me home after 6pm🥹 #airlines #spiritairlines #traveling #foryou #fyp #airport ♬ End of Beginning – Djo

This could be why so many commenters who responded to White’s video agreed that it was also a “humbling” experience for them while flying on ULCCs.

One person mentioned Allegiant air, writing, “allegiant too I asked for some water and they asked for my card.”

Another said, “I thought spirit was humbling then I flew frontier.”

White agreed with this commenter. “Frontier has been the only airline I’ve flown that was actually checking luggage size at the gate like let me live,” she said.

One TikTok user joked, “Did they ask you to fly the plane. I hate it when that happens at spirit.”

Others, however, didn’t want to experience the bad juju White may’ve been casting on them after decrying their experience with the airline.

“I’m flying spirit in a couple days..i’m trying to be positive,” one said.

A TikToker likened ULCCs to other companies in the travel space: “Spirit and Frontier are the Carnival Cruise of the air.”

However, there were folks who stood by Spirit Airlines, stating that they’ve never had a bad flight with the brand. “I have only had great experiences on spirit,” one said.

Others were very quick to share their favorite airlines in the comments section of White’s post.

“Delta on top tbh and southwest,” one user said.

Someone else mentioned another company that is a newcomer to the flight business (it was established in 2018): “Try Breeze Airways. BEST experience. You won’t regret it.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Spirit and white via email for further comment.

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*First Published: May 9, 2024, 9:00 pm CDT